Let me explain...
It's hard to make friends here. Like, really hard. And there's a laundry list of reasons why it seems to be so difficult... I have a full-time job, we don't have kids, we live in a town with a very small Army community, I don't really like people...and so on. But we do live in a progressive era where social media brings people together, so in times of need such as this I find myself turning to Facebook.
There's this AMAZING Facebook group for Army wives stationed at the same post here in Germany. I mean it is really stellar. It's been such an incredible community to be a part of for so many reasons, the most important being a reference for answering questions like "is there any place that does eyebrow threading around here?" and "where can I get a spray tan?" And then the less important things like "where is the closest ER" and "who do I call if I get locked out of my house?"
This group is a lifeline to hundreds of Army wives here. There is information on EVERYTHING, from dentists and doctors in the area to places that deliver food to childcare references and on and on and on. Any time I have a question about something, I check the wives page first. If I can't find the answer, I post my question and usually have a response within the hour. It's really awesome. It was especially useful as I struggled to navigate through the process of becoming a registered citizen in my town so that I can officially work in Germany. All that to say, I'm thankful for the people who created it and all of the wives who contribute to it every day.
So then this happened. This morning one of the admins posted "Let's do a role call! Add a little bio about yourself!" And I'm all "oh whatever" and move on with my day. But then curiosity got the best of me and a few hours later I went back to check if anyone had participated. Turns out there were more than 80 posts, so I started reading through them and suddenly I'm all "oh! You sound nice! Oh man, I could be friends with you!" and I'm sucked in. Darnit. So now I'm like, "ok, I'm reading this and finding people that I might connect with WHO ARE WANTING TO CONNECT WITH OTHER WIVES, so I should post something and maybe someone will want to be my friend!"
So I start to write up a few sentences and I'm sitting here agonizing over what to say because its like...how do I make myself sound like the best friend anyone could ever want? This is intense. This is like online dating...FOR FRIENDS. I only have a few sentences to essentially pimp myself out to a group of ladies that I don't know and all we have in common at this point is that we're stationed in the same part of the world with our Army husbands and we're all looking to make some friends. THIS. IS. STRESSFUL. And I don't even know how it works...is it like sorority rush where you're being evaluated and paired with the group most suited to you? ("On Wednesdays we wear pink") Is it like Match or eharmony where you get linked up with people who share your interests and then you meet to see if it's going to work and you want to move forward with the relationship? I DON'T KNOW.
And I can't just be honest...because if I'm just honest it would read something like "moved here in June. 1st official duty station. works full time. no kids, yet. DESPERATE FOR FRIENDS. Seriously, pick me. You won't regret this decision. I'm so nice. I will make you laugh. I'm a good listener. I make really good scones and I will bake some for you, I promise. Living off post, but a mere 25 minute drive through the peaceful and serene countryside, so don't let the distance put you off. Too far for you? Don't worry, I'LL COME TO YOU. Seriously, I'll drive an hour to hang out. Message me, I will reply within seconds and be way overeager. Can't wait to be your new BFF!"
So I had to figure out how to get my message across without sounding like a Stage 5 Clinger (should I change my profile picture? Do I look friendly enough in this picture?!). I finally put together a few sentences that summed me up without making me sound like I would be waiting on your front step with scones 25 minutes after you friend-request me on Facebook. Because that wouldn't be weird. I held my breath and pushed "post". Someone immediately "liked" my comment so I feel like I accomplished my goal. (phew)
But I also feel like I sold out. I feel like, really? is this how it is now? I'm trolling a Facebook group for potential friends?
Sometimes reality is harsh. This IS how it is. I AM trolling a Facebook group for potential friends. Granted, it's a "safe space", a friendly group with a bunch of women all finding ourselves in this same situation where we know we have to get a little outside of ourselves to make friends. And for me, getting outside of myself means reaching the level where, yes, I will solicit friendship on Facebook. And you know what? I'm kind of ok with that. Because desperate times call for desperate measures. And I do mean desperate.
It will be 100% worth the mild humiliation and disappointment in myself that I feel right now if I get just one friend out of this experience. 100% worth it.